Crack is the street name given to the freebase form of cocaine that has been processed from the powdered cocaine hydrochloride form to a smokable substance. The term “crack” refers to the crackling sound heard when the mixture is smoked. Crack cocaine is processed with ammonia or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) and water, and heated to remove the hydrochloride.
Because crack is smoked, the user experiences a high in less than 10 seconds. This rather immediate and euphoric effect is one of the reasons that crack became enormously popular in the mid 1980s. Another reason is that crack is inexpensive both to produce and to buy.
Crack cocaine addiction is both a physical and psychological disorder since the body and brain become dependent on the presence of cocaine.
In 2000, an estimated 1.2 million Americans were current cocaine users. This represents 0.5 percent of the population aged 12 and older. The estimated number of current crack users in 2000 is 265,000.
Like any form of substance use disorder, crack cocaine addiction is a multifaceted disease that causes problems behaviorally, socially, occupationally, biologically, neurologically, and psychologically. Cocaine is highly addictive; repeated use leads to tolerance, dependence, withdrawal after abstinence, and addiction. In 2006, the 71 percent of individuals seeking treatment for cocaine abuse smoke crack and are likely to abuse more than one substance.
If you or a loved one are suffering for crack cocaine addiction, we are here to help now. Call 213-80-SOBER for an immediate assessment.